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U.S. jobless rate drops to 17-year low in October
From:Xinhua  |  2017-11-04 03:30

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- U.S. economy added more jobs and reported a record low unemployment rate in October as impact from hurricanes wanes.

The total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 261,000 in October, after an adjusted-increase of 18,000 in September, said the Labor Department on Friday.

Employment in food services and drinking places increased sharply, mostly offsetting a decline in September that largely reflected the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, said the department.

The Labor Department revised up the job growth in August and September. September's growth was revised up to 18,000 from a drop of 33,000, and the job gains for August was revised up to 208,000 from previously reported 169,000.

As more people obtained jobs, the unemployment rate dropped to 4.1 percent in October from 4.2 percent in September.

The solid job growth is expected to support the Federal Reserve to continue to raise interest rates. Market investors now widely expected the central bank to hike interest rates in December.

However, Friday's job report also points to the weakness of the U.S. job market. The labor force participation rate, which shows the share of working-age people in the labor force, went down 0.4 percentage point to 62.7 percent in October.

Wage growth in the month also slowed to 2.4 percent, the smallest gain since February 2016, after increasing 2.8 percent in September. The tepid wage growth indicates that inflation pressure remained muted.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday announced Fed governor Jerome Powell to replace Janet Yellen to head the country's central bank when Yellen's term expires in February.

If confirmed by the Senate, Powell will face several challenges, including dealing with the sluggish inflation.